"Any girl singer in her right mind," said Carmen McRae, "would want to have Jimmy Rowles as her accompanist."
Harry (Sweets) Edison, before his trumpet solo, said, "I'd like to dedicate this next song to Jimmy, because it's how I feel about him--'There'll never be another you.' " These were typical of the compliments paid Sunday to Rowles when the veteran pianist was honored by the Los Angeles Jazz Society.
Held in a ballroom at the Hyatt Regency, the event included all the predictable tributes and proclamations, by Mayor Tom Bradley, Councilman Mike Woo et al., yet somehow it never lapsed into trivia. The speeches were not too long, Chuck Niles of KKGO was an articulate emcee, and everyone let music speak for itself.
It wasn't a moment too soon for the tribute. Rowles, 68 and not in the best of health, has a multiple background as studio musician, big band sideman (with Goodman, Herman, Dorsey) jazzman, and accompanist to every main singer from Sarah Vaughan to McRae to Peggy Lee.